The Expo Email Platform
The left menu contains the most important aspect of the The Expo Email Platform application as it features the most important aspects of your email campaigns. There are three distinct areas of any email marketing – contact lists (Lists), the products or services you want to inform a contact list of (Campaigns) and the appearance of the sent campaign (Templates).
You have the ability to create, modify, add and delete any of your Lists, Campaigns and Templates. As you work in these areas, you will increase your knowledge in the power of this application and email marketing.
There are hidden treasures, such as forms (to place on your website) and tracking (which aids greatly in your follow-up) and so much more that can and will develop your business if used methodically.
The following gives you an overview of the main links of the left menu:
A. Lists > Lists menu
1. LISTS – LISTS > LISTS MENU
Clicking on the List link you can view current lists or create a new list. If there are a large number of lists, the text and drop down boxes will allow you to search for specific lists you have.
For any new list you are creating, you must create the list name before being able to add or upload any contacts (lists) you may have to import. At this stage, you are only concerned about creating the list name and the list criteria, not adding or importing names.
The create window requires you to input pertinent data such as General Data, Defaults, Notification settings and company information needed for any campaign.
General Data – Name of the list and your display name of the list if you want it different. A summary description of your list. Contact defaults would be those set in your Account settings. If you wish to change these for a certain list, you would doso here. Opt In or Opt Out type, either single or double. For example, a double opt-in is when a subscriber signs up on your website (first opt-in) and then receives an email to confirm the registration. A single opt-in or opt-out is when someone clicks to register (or unregister) and is immediately opted in or out without receiving an email that must be confirmed.
Notifications – Whether you wish to receive email notifications of each opt-in or opt-out. Keep in mind that you can login to your Dashboard to see the opt-ins and opt-outs.
Company Details – Defaults would be those in your Account Settings. As in the Contact information in the General Data above, the Company Details default to your Company Account Settings. If you wish to change these for a certain list, you would do so here.
Once you have created your list, it will appear in the list window, with the name of the list, display name if you gave it one, and there will be 4 icon links to the right of the list.
The 4 icons on the right are Overview, Copy, Update and Delete. Copy and Delete are self explanatory for the list. The Update icon is to edit any criteria you originally inputted.
The Overview icon, the first one, is of most interest here as it is has some powerful features over time you will make more use of. It is noteworthy here to clarify even though it is implied, the ‘Overview boxes’ and ‘Information headers’ that appear from the Overview icon are for that list only! Each list will have their own Overview, Copy, Update and Delete icons.
Once you click on the Overview icon, the List Overview will appear. You will, by applying your time, realize this area has extremely powerful features for your marketing development:
Subscriber box – you can manage your existing subscribers (create/update/remove) and also you can adjust your list depending on your subscribers. For example you can add new custom fields or remove existing.
Subscribe, Unsubscribe or Delete. Please note, this is not the list import ability, for list import go to your list overview, followed by Tools box followed by the Import box.
Segmentation box – you can segment your list with various criteria based on your custom list fields and on a high number of operators. Segmentation will help you target a specific type of users when sending campaigns.
Custom Fields box, Pages box and Forms box – are for your website and visitor subscriber areas. You have the ability to create,
customize and add these forms to your website for your site visitors to subscribe or unsubscribe.
You will not need much web building knowledge to apply these areas.
Below is the Custom Fields page. You can create and customize the register/subscribe fields for your website pages where visitors can fill out and they will be added to your list. You can make multiple lists for not only contact type, i.e. Broker, Agent, etc., but for different products or services. For example, if you have clients interested in Real Estate and Yachts, you can have them subscribe or unsubscribe to one, the other, or both!
Below is the Pages page and previews the first page of the 8 pre-built pages you can use for your website.
The pre-built pages are:
- Subscribe form
- Pending subscribe
- Subscription confirmed
- Update profile
- Unsubscribe form
- Unsubscribe confirmation
- Subscribe confirm email
- Unsubscribe confirm email
Tools box– is used to import, export and copy your list/subscribers. CSV and Text files will be most applicable to you, while the database box is for more advanced users that do have their own MySQL databases.
Clicking on the Tools box brings you to the options to Import, Export or Copy a list:
Clicking on the Import box brings up a window to choose a list you have in CSV file format.
NOTE: Excel documents may be saved in CSV format. The window includes a link for a CSV file example.
Clicking on the Export box brings up a window to choose the Subscriber list you wish to export.
Simply choose a list, click on export and save it to a location on your computer.
2. TOOLS – LISTS > TOOLS MENU
Click on Lists > Tools menu and two boxes appear, Sync (Subscribers) and Split (Lists.)
i. Sync Subscribers box
ii. Split List box
B. Campaigns > Campaigns menu
(NOTE* – Be sure to set up your Account, and create/import at least one List and one Template before creating your first Campaign.)
1. CAMPAIGNS – CAMPAIGNS > CAMPAIGNS.
Click on the left menu, Campaigns > Campaigns and you can either create or modify a campaign (if it was not yet sent) or manage Groups.
Click on the ‘Create new’ button to begin creating a new campaign. There are two required fields, you must type in a campaign name and then in the drop down list, choose which list you want to send the campaign to. NOTE – There are four stages to creating a campaign, Details, Setup, Template and Confirmation.
Your new campaign can be seen on the campaign list. Click on the ‘Campaign name’ or the ‘Pencil icon’ to the right to edit/modify the campaign.
Click on the ‘Pencil icon’ to go to the ‘Setup’ page of this campaign
Note the Campaign ‘Steps menu’ and the ‘Save and next’ buttons as you continue.
The Campaign set up options for tracking and receiving stats. Click on each header title for information on each setting.
Clicking next will take you to the template area. Here you can create or choose a template.
The Expo Email Platform uses the CK editor which is a WYSIWYG, a visual template builder. You are encouraged to educate yourself on this editor in the Template area and on their website.
Without going into detail, moving your cursor over each button will give you an information box of what it does. Also, if you are familiar with html coding, you may click on the ‘Source’ button to view/modify/paste code.
In this case, we will choose the ‘Change/Select Template’ button above the editor. Your ‘My email templates’ will appear that you have in your templates page. If more than one, you will choose the template you want for this campaign.
The template you chose will appear in the CKeditor window.
It is here you would modify the template. See the Template Modification Tutorial Addendum at the end of this manual.
There are a number of html tutorials available online and one very popular recommended one is at http://www.w3schools.com/html/.
NOTE – The editor used within The Expo Email Platform application is called CKeditor and documentation and tutorials can be read at http://docs.cksource.com/.
2. GROUPS – CAMPAIGNS > GROUPS.
Campaign Groups are a way to categorize your Campaigns. As an example, if you eventually have 40-50 or more campaigns of both Estates and Yachts, you could create Estate and Yacht groups and simply categorize each of your campaigns within these groups for an easier search feature instead of having to search through all campaigns.
To get more in-depth, if you begin building for example, a 15-series autoresponder (see the Terminology section), you can create an AR15 group. You can create innumerable types of Groups to filter and create views of your campaigns.
For now, we will for simplicity sake create two groups. Click on ‘Groups’ to access the Group View page.
Click on the ‘Create new’ button, type in “Estates” and click ‘Save changes’. Repeat the process creating a “Yachts” group.
Once complete, click on the ‘Groups’ link again to take you to the ‘Groups view’ page. You should see the two groups you created.
At this point, whether you create a new campaign or to edit / update an existing one, you can assign the campaign to one of the groups created. Simply choose from the Group drop-down box that group you would like to categorize that campaign with.
C. Templates > Templates menu
The first time you login in, you will not have any templates in the ‘My Templates’ area. You can do one of three things – create your own template, upload your own template either created by another application or downloaded or import it from the provided ‘Gallery.’
1. MY TEMPLATES – TEMPLATES > MY TEMPLATES
On first use, this area is blank. It will require creating or uploading a template. This does require a bit of html knowledge which we won’t go into here. There are a number of html tutorials available online and one very popular recommended one is at http://www.w3schools.com/html/.
As noted above, the editor used within the application is called CKeditor and documentation and tutorials can be read at http://docs.cksource.com/. For more details on modifying a template, see the Template Modification Tutorial Addendum at the end of this manual.
2. GALLERY – TEMPLATES > GALLERY
The Templates > Gallery link takes you to ready-made templates for you to import and use. These templates, once imported, can be modified for your custom use.
To import a template into ‘My Templates’, click on themenu Templates > Gallery and choose one to import by clicking on the button titled ‘Import into my templates’ below the template you choose. The chosen template will then show in ‘My Templates.’ You may choose some of the templates or all of them.